Surgery at Ghaziabad hospital saves newborn with feeding problem

Ghaziabad, Feb 22 (IANS) A baby baby born with a life-threatening birth defect of the digestive tract leading to feeding problems is now taking full breastfeeding, thanks to complex surgery performed at a hospital here.

The surgical procedure corrected the birth defect and the baby was discharged from the hospital on the ninth day after the surgery in a stable condition, doctors at Columbia Asia Hospitals, Ghaziabad, said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Aayat, the baby boy was born at a private hospital in Sahibabad. He was born with life-threatening birth defect of the alimentary canal -- also called digestive tract. Additionally, he was facing a critical breathing problem immediately after birth and had to be shifted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

The attempts at feeding the baby using a plastic feeding tube also failed and the condition of the newborn became highly unstable.

The baby was then brought to Columbia Asia Hospitals where a team led by Rajeev Aggarwal, a paediatric surgeon, took stock of the baby's condition and decided on immediately conducting a complex but necessary surgical intervention to save the life of the baby.

"Aayat was suffering from an abnormality of the esophagus, known as esophageal atresia. This is a complex birth defect, which interrupts the formation of the esophageal tube in newborns," Aggarwal said.

"This is the reason why he could not swallow or intake nutrients via the feeding tube as the alimentary canal gets blocked. The condition could lead to aspirational pneumonia and threaten the child's life if medical attention is not given on time," he added.

In babies, formation of oesophagus (a long, hollow tube joining the mouth to the stomach) is a continuous process that continues for the first few months after birth. 

"Since the baby was in serious condition and required immediate relief, the surgery was conducted the same day. Given the low birth weight and the highly unstable condition of the baby during the course of treatment, this surgery was highly sensitive," Aggarwal said.

He is now able to take full breastfeeding, the doctors said.